Lakeside opens after ribbon cutting


Kennedy Plieth, Contributing Writer

Crimson, gray and white balloons were scattered around the room, chairs were properly pushed in and tables were polished to a shine. The doors opened and students were greeted with smiling faces and welcomes of endearment from the staff at the Lakeside Dining Hall grand opening ceremony on Wednesday.

The new and improved dining hall stood tall as students, faculty and staff made their way to see all the action inside.

“Lakeside was renovated last semester, and we did a lot of great changes,” said Amanda Hare, marketing coordinator for Bama Dining. “Today is to say ‘Hey, we’re here, come see all the great new things we have to offer.’”

LoWanda James, director of information services for The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, said the event went from just an idea to reality.

“This is something we do for our chamber members,” James said. “We come out at the day and time that is available for them and supply the ribbon, scissors and camera. It’s a benefit for the members, a little bit of an advertisement for them that they’re open.”

The event kicked off with a few words from Jim Page, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. Then, there was a performance by The Afros, a student-run choir. President Stuart Bell then said a few words and thanked those in attendance.

Next, a red silk ribbon, with The Chamber of Commerce logo proudly engraved on it, was drawn and official ribbon-cutting scissors were retrieved as Chamber of Commerce and UA staff crowded behind the ribbon for the official ceremony.

At 3:46 p.m., President Bell and Teresa Shreve, assistant vice president of enterprise operations, along with assistance from Big Al, made the opening official by taking the large ceremony scissors and cutting through the ribbon, welcoming everyone into the new Lakeside.

“I’m really excited about the new opening, because this is a new facility for the students and they have already enjoyed it so much, I think they will really enjoy it throughout the year,” Shreve said.

As the excitement of the ribbon cutting wound down, the festivities continued with prizes and other entertainment for students in attendance to help celebrate the first official day of being open.